REVIEW: ‘We tried a newly refurbed Northampton village pub ahead of its grand reopening tonight’

Here’s what we thought of the refurb and some of the food from the updated menu

A Northampton village pub is set to reopen tonight after a major refurbishment - and we were invited to try it out ahead of the re-launch.

Cromwell Cottage, in Kislingbury, has been closed for much of February for a revamp, which saw “significant investment”.

The pub reopens at 6pm tonight (Friday March 1), however this newspaper has already had a sneak peek of the new interior and taste tested the updated menu.

First impressions count for a lot, and the initial look at the exterior of the pub was very inviting. Fairy lights decked out the ample outdoor seating area and were wrapped around trees in the car park, which made the site look appealing, but also emphasised the brick work of the exterior, which screams ‘traditional pub inside - come join us’.

We were greeted by friendly faces and explored the lounge and bar area, before being shown to our table in the dining area.

The whole place has been redecorated to incorporate warm and cosy colours, which make you feel right at home. This is also helped by the roaring fires dotted around the lounge, with comfy - and stylish - sofas and chairs surrounding them. Definitely an enjoyable place to hide out from the rain mid-countryside walk, or a great place to relax and catch up with friends.

Now onto the good stuff - the food and drink.

There is an extensive drinks menu on offer, including a large selection of cocktails, which are two for £14 Monday to Thursday. There was also a lengthy wine list, with plenty of choices for all three colours. And much to my partner’s delight, Asahi was on tap, along with Madri, Pravha and more.

For starters, we went for scallops and chipotle sticky chicken. I had the scallops, which were cooked perfectly and served with dauphinoise chips. I could have had three courses worth of the chips, to be honest. They were seasoned excellently and the crispiness was heaven in my mouth. Obviously, I had to try the chicken too, which was crispy and sweet and came served as a generous portion.

Both of us followed the starters up with a steak. One 7oz fillet and one 10oz rib-eye. Both cooked exactly how we asked for. I was told the fillet was “melt in the mouth”. The garlic butter on both of the steaks made the course extra special, and the chips were what I would call properly chunky, but the real star of the show was the beef dripping sauce, which was rich and flavoursome. I would have liked to have bottled up an extra helping to bring home!

Obviously, it would be rude not to sneak a peek at some of the other meals being brought out around us. The T-bone steak, sourdough pizzas and the burgers all looked delicious, and worth a re-visit just to try another main from the menu.

By this point, we were stuffed, but there is, of course, a separate stomach for desserts. We had to order the chocolate bomb, which was filled with brownie, Biscoff spread and ice cream and melted by hot toffee sauce. We also went for a sticky toffee pudding with ginger ice cream. Both exquisite and the best way to round off a lovely meal.

The staff were smiley and chatty and made us well extremely welcome by talking to us about our day and what they like from the menu - something that really will go a long way as the pub reopens.

Overall, I expect the refurb of the Cromwell to be a soaring success. The pub, with its two sides, offers a traditional, cosy setting for a drink and a catch up, but also a place for a phenomenal meal, which is a cut above standard ‘pub grub’ - perfect for a special occasion.

Check out the pictures below of Cromwell Cottage in Kislingbury, and some of the food on offer, ahead of the grand reopening at 6pm tonight (Friday March 1).

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